FOR YOUR OWN GOOD - Alice Miller
8 [Pages 32-47 in the print edition]

Theologians and pedagogues who take a moral viewpoint must be especially inventive if they are not to resort to the rod, for charitable feelings do not grow easily in soil that has been dried out by early disciplining. Still, the possibility remains of "charitable feelings" based on duty and obedience, in other words: another case of hypocrisy.

In her book Der Mann auf der Kanzel (The Man in the Pulpit) (1979), Ruth Rehmann, herself a minister's daughter, describes the atmosphere in which ministers' children have sometimes had to grow up:

They are told that their values, by virtue of their nonmaterial nature, are superior to all tangible vaues. The possession of hidden values encourages conceit and self-righteousness, which quickly and imperceptibly blend in with the required humility. No one can undo this, not even they themselves. No matter what they do, they have to deal not only with their physical parents but with the omnipresent super-Father, whom they cannot offend without paying for it with a guilty conscience. It is less painful to give in, to "be a dear." One does not say "love" in these families, but rather "like" and "be a dear." By avoiding use of the verb "love," they take the sting away from Eros' arrow, bending it into a wedding ring and family ties. Warmth is prevented from becoming dangerous by being relegated to the home fire. Those who have warmed themselves by it will be cold ever after wherever they may be.
After telling her father's story from a daughter's perspective, Rehmann sums up her feelings with these words:
This is what makes me uneasy about the story: this particular kind of loneliness, which doesn't look like loneliness at all because it is surrounded by well-meaning people; it's only that the one who is lonely has no way of approaching them except from above by bending down as St. Martin bent down from his lofty steed to the poor beggar. This can be given a variety of names: to do good, to help, to give, to counsel, to comfort, to instruct, even to serve; this does not change the fact that above remains above and below below and that the one who is above cannot have others do good to him, counsel, comfort, or instruct him no matter how much he may be in need of this, for in this fixed constellation no reciprocity is possible--no matter how much love there is, there is not a spark of what we call solidarity. No misery is miserable enough to make such a person come down from the lofty steed of his humble conceit.

This may well be the particular kind of loneliness of a person who, in spite of his meticulous daily observance of God's word and commandments, could incur guilt without being aware of any guilt because the recognition of certain sins presupposes a knowledge based on seeing, hearing, and understanding, not on dialogues with one's own soul. Camillo Torres had to study sociology in addition to theology in order to understand the sufferings of his people and to act accordingly. The Church did not look with favor on this. The sins associated with wanting to know have always seemed more sinful to it than those of not wanting to know, and it has always considered those people more pleasing to God who have sought what is essential in the invisible and have ignored the visible as non-essential.

The pedagogue must also put a very early stop to the desire to know, so that the child does not become aware too early of what is being done to him.

Boy:   Where do children come from, dear tutor?
Tutor:   They grow in their mother's body. When they have gotten so large that there is no more room for them, the mother must push them out, something like what we do when we have eaten a lot and then go to the privy. But is hurts the mother very much.
Boy:   And then the baby is born?
Tutor:   Yes.
Boy:   But how does the baby get into the mother's body?
Tutor:   That we don't know; we only know that it grows there.
Boy:   That's very strange.
Tutor:   No, not at all.--Look at that whole forest that has grown over there. No one is surprised by this because everyone knows that trees grow out of the earth. In the same way, no reasonable person is surprised that a baby grows in its mother's body. For this has been so as long as people have been on earth.
Boy:   And do midwives have to be there when a baby is born?
Tutor:   Yes, because the mothers are in such pain that they can't take care of themselves all alone. Since not all women are so hardhearted and fearless that they can be around people who must undergo so much pain, there are women in every town who are paid to stay with the mothers until the pain has passed. They are like the women who prepare dead bodies for burial; washing the dead or undressing and dressing them are also tasks not to everyone's liking which people therefore perform for money.
Boy:   I would like to be there sometime when a baby is born.
Tutor:   If you want an idea of the pain and distress mothers experience, you don't need to go and see a baby being born; one doesn't have that chance because mothers do not know themselves at what moment the pains will begin. Instead, I will take you to Dr. R. when he is about to amputate a patient's leg or remove a stone from someone's body. Those people wail and scream just like mothers giving birth....
Boy:   My mother told me not long ago that the midwife can tell right away whether the baby is a boy or a girl. How does the midwife know?
Tutor:   I will tell you. Boys are much more broad-shouldered and large-boned than girls; but primarily, boys' hands and feet are always broader and coarser than girls' hands and feet. For example, you need only look at the hand of your sister, who is nearly a year and a half older than you; your hand is much broader than hers, and your fingers are thicker and fleshier. That makes them look shorter too, although they are not. [J. Hausinger (1801), quoted in Rutschky]

Once the child's intelligence has been stultified by answers such as these, then he can easily be manipulated:

It is rarely useful and often harmful for you to give them [children] reasons why you are not granting their wishes. Even when you are willing to do what they desire, accustom them now and again to postponement, to being satisfied with just part of what they want, and to accepting gratefully a boon other than the one they requested. Divert a desire you must oppose, either through some activity of by satisfying a different one. In the midst of eating, drinking, or playing, tell them from time to time with friendly gravity to interrupt their enjoyment for a few minutes and undertake something different. Fulfill no request you have once denied. Seek to satisfy children with a frequent "perhaps." You should grant this "perhaps," however, only occasionally and not always, but when they repeat a request, having been forbidden to, you should never grant it.--If they have a distaste for certain foods, determine whether these foods are of common or rare variety. If the latter is the case, you need not take great pains to combat their aversion; in the former case, see if they would rather go hungry and thirsty for a time than eat that to which they have an aversion. When, after abstaining for a time, they do partake of nourishment again, mix the despised food with others without their knowledge; if it tastes good and agrees with them, use this fact to persuade them they have been in error. If vomiting or other harmful bodily symptoms result, say nothing, but see if secretly adding the food in question will help their bodies gradually become accustomed to it. If this is not possible, then your attempts to coerce them will be in vain. If you have discovered, however, that the reason for their aversion is a figment of their imagination, attempt to remedy this by making them go hungry for a considerable period or by other methods of coercion. This will be more difficult to accomplish if children see that their parents or those who take care of them show aversion to this and that food....

If parents or caretakers are unable to take medicine without grimacing or making woeful complaints, they must never let the children see this but rather must frequently pretend they are making use of these vile-tasting medicines that the children may have to take someday. These and other difficulties will usually be overcome if children become accustomed to perfect obedience. The greatest problems are presented by surgical operations. If only one is necessary, say not a word about it to young children ahead of time, but conceal all preparations, perform the operation in silence, and then say, My child, now you are cured; the pain will soon be gone. If more than one operation is required, then I have no counsel to give as to whether an explanation should be given in advance or not, because the former may be advisable for some, the latter for others.--If children are afraid of the dark, then we have only ourselves to blame. In their first weeks of life, especially when they are being fed during the night, we must occasionally extinguish the light. Once they have been spoiled, this condition must be cured little by little. The light is snuffed out; after a time it is reintroduced, then again after a longer time, finally after more than an hour. Meanwhile, there is cheerful conversation and the children are given something they like to eat. Now there is no light at all any more; now they are led by the hand through pitch-dark rooms; now they are sent into these same rooms to fetch something agreeable to them. But if parents and caretakers are frightened of the dark themselves, then I have no counsel for them except to use deception. [Basedow (1773), quoted in Rutschky]

Deception seems to be a universal method of control, even in pedagogy. Here too, as in the political sphere, ultimate victory is presented as "the sucessful resolution" of the conflict.

Similarly, self-control must be demanded from one's charge, and in order to learn it he must be made to practice it. Along with this, as Stoy explains very nicely in his encyclopedia, goes teaching him to observe himself, but without spending time before the looking glass, so he will recognize those faults he must devote his energy to subduing. Then, too, certain accomplishments are expected of him. The boy must learn to go without, must learn to deny himself things, and must learn to be silent when he is rebuked, to be patient when something disagreeable happens; he must learn to keep a secret, to break off in the midst of something pleasant....

Moreover, in the case of practicing self-control, fortitude is required only in the beginning. "Success breeds success" is a favorite adage of educators. With each victory, the power of the will increases and weakness of will wanes until it is vanquished entirely. We have known boys to become so angry that they were beside themselves with rage, as the saying goes, and just a few years later have seen them become the amazed spectators of outbursts of rage in others, and we have heard them express their gratitude to those who trained them. [Enzyklopädie. . . quoted in Rutschky]

If this feeling of gratitude is to emerge, conditioning must begin at a very early age:

It is hard to go wrong if one bends a sapling in the direction in which it should grow, something that cannot be done in the case of an old oak....

The infant is fond of something he is playing with that amuses him. Look at him kindly, then smilingly and very calmly take it from him, with a light air; replace it immediately, without making him wait long, with another toy and pastime. He will then forget the first object and eagerly accept the second. Frequent and early repetition of this procedure. . .will prove that the child is not so intractable as he is accused of being and as he would have been had he not been sensibly trained. He is not so likely to turn out to be headstrong with a familiar person who has won his confidence by means of love, play, and tender supervision. Initially, a child does not become agitated and refractory because something has been taken away from him or because his will has been thwarted but because he does not want to give up his amusement and endure boredom. The new diversion he is offered induces him to relinquish the one he had so strongly desired before. If he should show displeasure when an object he covets is withdrawn, should also cry and scream, then pay no heed nor seek to pacify the child by caressing him or by returning the object. Rather, continue your efforts to divert his attention to a new pastime. [F.S. Bock, Lehrbuch der Erziehungskunst zum Gebrauch für christliche Eltern und künftige Junglehrer (A Manual of the Art of Pedagogy for the Use of Christian Parents and Future Teachers of the Young), 1789, quoted in Rutschky]

This advice reminds me of one of my patients, who was successfully conditioned at a very early age not to heed his hunger pangs; his attention was diverted from his hunger "solely by demonstrations of affection." A complicated set of compulsive symptoms concealing his deep feelings of insecurity later resulted from this early training. Naturally, this attempt to divert his attention was only one of many ways used to stifle his vitality; facial expressions and tone of voice are very popular and often unconsciously used methods too:

A very fine and worthy position is assumed by silent punishment or silent reproof, which expresses itself by a look or an appropriate gesture. Silence often has more force than many words and the eye more force than the mouth. It has been correctly pointed out that man uses his gaze to tame wild beasts; should it not therefore be easy for him to restrain all the bad and perverse instincts and impulses of a young mind? If we have nurtured and properly trained our children's sensitivity from the beginning, then a single glance will have more effect than a cane or switch on those children whose senses have not been dulled to gentler influences. "The eye discerns, the heart burns," should be our preferred motto in punishing. Let us assume that one of our children has told a lie but we are unable to prove it. When the family is together at the table or elsewhere, we happen to bring up the subject of people who tell lies, and with a sharp glance at the wrongdoer refer to the shameful, cowardly, and pernicious nature of lying. If he is still otherwise uncorrupted, he will sit there as if on hot coals and will lose his taste for untruthfulness. The silent, pedagogical rapport between us and him will grow stronger.-- The right gestures are also among the silent servants of child- rearing. A slight movement of the hand, shaking of the head, or shrugging of the shoulders can have a greater influence than many words.--In addition to silent reproof, we can also use verbal reproof. Here, too, there is not always a need for many high-flown words. C'est le ton qui fait la musique, and this to pedagogy as well. Anyone fortunate enough to possess a voice whose tone can convey the most diverse moods and emotions has received from Mother Nature a fortuitous means of meting out punishment. This can be observed even in very small children. Their faces light up when Mother or Father speaks to them in a kindly tone, their wailing mouths close when Father's grave and resonant voice enjoins them to be quiet. And when a certain tone of reproof is used to order an infant to drink, it will often obediently take the bottle it had pushed away but a short time ago....The child does not yet understand enough, cannot yet read our feelings clearly enough to perceive that we are compelled to administer the pain of punishment only because we want what is best for him, only because of our good will. Our protestations of love would only strike him as hypocritical or contradictory. Even we adults do not always understand the biblical words, "For whom the Lord loveth, he correcteth." Only long years of experience and observation along with the belief that the salvation of the immortal soul takes precedence over all earthly values can give us a glimpse of the profound truth and wisdom of this verse.--Losing control of ourselves should not be a part of moral censure, which can still be emphatic and forceful without it; losing control only lessens respect and never shows us from our best side. However, one should not shy away from anger, from noble anger that arises from the depths of injured and outraged moral feelings. The less accustomed a child is to see lack of control in the adult and the less the adult's anger is accompanied by lack of control, the stronger will be the impact if there is finally thunder and lightning to clear the air. [A. Matthias, Wie erziehen wir unseren Sohn Benjamin? (How Shall We Rear our Son Benjamin?) 1902, quoted in Rutschky]

Can it ever occur to a small child that the need for thunder and lightning arises from the unconscious depths of the adult psyche and has nothing to do with his or her own psyche? The biblical quotation, "For whom the Lord loveth, he correcteth," implies that the adult shares in the divine omnipotence, and just as the truly devout person is not to question God's motives (see the Book of Genesis), so too the child is supposed to defer to the adult without asking for explanations:

One of the vile products of a misguided philanthropy is the idea that, in order to obey gladly, the child has to understand the reasons why an order is given and that blind obedience offends human dignity. Whoever presumes to spread these views in home or school forgets that our faith requires us adults to bow to the higher wisdom of Divine Providence and that human reason must never lose sight of this faith. He forgets that all of us here on earth live by faith alone, not by cogitation. Just as we must act with humble faith in the higher wisdom and unfathomable love of God, so the child should let his actions be guided by faith in the wisdom of his parents and teachers and should regard this as schooling in obedience toward the Heavenly Father. Anyone who alters these circumstances is flagrantly replacing faith with presumptuous doubt and at the same time overlooking the nature of the child and his need for faith.--I do not know how we can continue to speak of obedience once reasons are given. These are meant to convince the child, and, once convinced, he is not obeying us but merely the reasons we have given him. Respect for a higher intelligence is then replaced by a self-satisfied allegiance to his own cleverness. The adult who gives reasons for his orders opens up the field to argument and thus alters the relationship to his charge. The latter starts to negotiate, thereby placing himself on the same level as the adult; this equality is incompatible with the respect required for successful education. Anyone who believes he can win love only if he is obeyed as a result of explanations is sorely mistaken, for he fails to recognize the nature of the child and his need to submit to someone stronger than himself. If there is obedience in our hearts, a poet tells us, then love will not be far away. In the family it is usually weak mothers who follow the philanthropic principle, whereas the father demands unconditional obedience without wasting words. In return, it is the mother who is most often tyrannized by her offspring and the father who enjoys their respect; for this reason, he is the head of the whole household and determines its atmosphere. [L. Kellner (1852), quoted in Rutschky]

Obedience appears to be the undisputed supreme principle of religious education as well. The word appears again and again in the Psalms and always in connection with the danger of loss of love if the sin of disobedience should be committed. Whoever finds this surprising "fails to recognize the nature of the child and his need to submit to someone stronger than himself."

The Bible is also cited to discourage the expression of natural maternal feelings, which are described as doting:

Is it not doting when the baby is coddled and pampered in every way from infancy? Instead of accustoming the baby from the very first day of his life on earth to discipline and regularity in his intake of nourishment and thereby laying the groundwork for moderation, patience, and human happiness, doting lets itself be guided by the infant's crying....

A doting love cannot be severe, cannot refuse anything, cannot say no for the child's own good; it can only say yes, to the child's detriment. It allows itself to be dominated by a blind desire to be kind, as if this were a natural instinct; it permits when it should forbid, is lenient when it should punish, is indulgent when it should be strict. A doting love lacks any clear idea of the goal of education; it is shortsighted. It wants to do right by the child but chooses the wrong methods. It is led astray by the emotions of the moment instead of being guided by composure and reflection. It allows itself to be misled by the child instead of leading him. It does not have any calm and genuine power of resistance and allows itself to be tyrannized by the child's contradicitons, by his willfulness and defiance, or even by the pleas, flattery, and tears of the young tyrant. It is the opposite of true love, which does not shrink from punishment. The Bible says, "He who loves his son chastises him often with the rod, that he may be his joy when he grows up" (Sirach 30:1), and, "Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief" (Sirach 30:9)....Sometimes children raised dotingly are guilty of gross misbehavior toward their parents. [Matthias, quoted in Rutschky]

Parents fear this "misbehavior" so much that on occasion they feel thoroughly justified in using any means to prevent it. And for this purpose they have a rich palette of possibilities to choose from; prominent among them is the method of withdrawing love, which can take many forms. This is something no child can risk.

The infant must perceive order and discipline before he becomes conscious of them, so that he will proceed to the stage of awakening consciousness with good habits already formed and his imperious physical egoism under control....

Thus, the adult must instill obedience by the exercise of his power; this is done with a severe glance, a firm word, possibly by means of physical force (which curbs bad behavior although it is unable to produce good behavior) and by means of punishment. Punishment, however, need not primarily cause physical pain but can utilize withdrawal of kindness and of expressions of love, depending on the type or frequency of the disobedience. For example, for a more sensitive child who is being quarrelsome, this can mean removing him from his mother's lap, refusal of his father's hand or of the bedtime kiss, etc. Since the child's affection can be gained by expressions of love, this same affection can be made use of to make him more amenable to discipline.

...We have defined obedience as submission of the will to the legitimate will of another person....

The will of the adult must be a fortress, inaccessible to duplicity of defiance and granting admittance only when obedience knocks at the gates. [ Enzyklopädie ...quoted in Rutschky]

When still in diapers, the child learns to knowk at the gates of love with "obedience," and unfortunately does not unlearn this ever after:

...Turning now to the second major point, how to instill obedience, we begin by showing how this can be done at a very early age. Pedagogy points out that that even a baby in diapers has a will of his own and is to be treated accordingly. [Enzyklopädie...]

If treatment of this sort is carried through consistently enough and early enough, then all the requirements will have been met to enable a citizen to live in a dictatorship without minding it; he or she will even be able to feel a euphoric identification with it, as happened in the Hitler period:

...for the health and vitality of a political commonwealth owe just as much to the flourishing of obedience to law and authority as to the prudent use of energy of its leaders. Likewise in the family, in all matters of child-rearing, the will that gives orders and the one that carries them out must not be regarded as antagonistic; they are both the organic expression of what is actually a single will. [ Enzyklopädie ...]

Just as in the symbiosis of the "diaper stage," there is no separation here of subject and object. If the child learns to view corporal punishment as "a necessary measure" against "wrongdoers," then as an adult he will attempt to protect himself from punishment by being obedient and will not hesitate to cooperate with the penal system. In a totalitarian state, which is a mirror of his upbringing, this citizen can also carry out any form of torture or persecution without having a guilty conscience. His "will" is completely identical with that of the government.

Now that we have seen how easy it is for intellectuals in a dictatorship to be corrupted, it would be a vestige of aristocratic snobbery to think that only "the uneducated masses" are susceptible to propaganda. Both Hitler and Stalin had a surprisingly large number of enthusiastic followers among intellectuals. Our capacity to resist has nothing to do with our intelligence but with the degree of access to our true self. Indeed, intelligence is capable of innumerable rationalizations when it comes to the matter of adaptation. Educators have always known this and have exploited it for their own purposes, as the following proverb suggests: "The clever person gives in, the stupid one balks." For example, we read in a work on child raising by Grünwald (1899): "I have never yet found willfulness in an intellectually advanced or exceptionally gifted child" (quoted in Rutschky). Such a child can, in later life, exhibit extraordinary acuity in criticizing the ideologies of his opponents--and in puberty even the views by his own parents-- because in these cases his intellectual powers can function without impairment. Only within a group--such as one consisting of adherents of an ideology or a theoretical school--that represents the early family situation will this person on occasion still display a naïve submissiveness and uncritical attitude that completely belie his brilliance in other situations. Here, tragically, his early dependence upon tyrannical parents is preserved, a dependence that--in keeping with the program of "poisonous pedagogy"--goes undetected. This explains why Martin Heidegger, for example, who had no trouble in breaking with traditional philosophy and leaving behind the teachers of his adolescence, was not able to see the contradictions in Hitler's ideology that should have been obvious to someone of his intelligence. He responded to this ideology with an infantile fascination and devotion that brooked no criticism.

In the tradition we are dealing with, it was considered obstinacy and was therefore frowned upon to have a will and mind of one's own. It is easy to understand that an intelligent child would want to escape the punishments devised for those possessing these traits and that he or she could do so without any difficulty. What the child didn't realize was that escape came at a high price.

The father receives his powers from God (and from his own father). The teacher finds the soil already prepared for obedience, and the political leader has only to harvest what has been sown:

With the most forceful form of punishment, corporal chastisement, we come to the ultimate in punishment. Just as the rod serves as the symbol of paternal discipline in the home, the stick is the primary emblem of school discipline. There was a time when the stick was the cure-all for any mischief in school as the rod was in the home. It is an age-old "indirect way of speaking from the soul," common to all nations. What can be more obvious than the rule, "He who won't hear must be made to feel"? Pedagogical blows provide a forceful accompaniment to words and intensify their effect. The most direct and natural way of administering them is by that box on the ears, preceded by a strong pulling on the ear, which we still remember from our own youth. This is an unmistakable reminder of the existence of an organ of hearing and of its intended use. It obviously has symbolic significance, as does a slap on the mouth, which is a reminder that there is an organ of speech and a warning to put it to better use....The tried and true blow to the head and hair-pulling still convey a certain symbolism, too....

Even truly Christian pedagogy, which takes a person as he is, not as he should be, cannot in principle renounce every form of corporal chastisement, for it is exactly the proper punishment for certain kinds of delinquency: it humiliates and upsets the child, affirms the necessity of bowing to a higher order and at the same time reveals paternal love in all its vigor....We would be in complete sympathy if a conscientious teacher declared: I would rather not be a teacher at all than have to relinquish my prerogative of reaching for the ultima ratio of the stick when necessary.

..."The father strikes his child and himself feels the smart,/ Severity is a merit if you have a gentle heart," writes the poet Rückert. If the teacher is a true representative of the father, then he also knows how to display--with the stick when necessary-- a love that is often purer and deeper than that of many a natural father. And although we call the child's heart a sinful one, we believe we may still say: The childish heart as a rule understands this love, even if not always at the moment. [Enzyklopädie ...quoted in Rutschky]

As an adult, this child will often allow himself to be manipulated by various forms of propaganda since he is already used to having his "inclinations" manipulated and has never known anything else:

First and foremost, the educator must take care that those inclinations hostile and adverse to the higher will, instead of being awakened and nourished by early education (as so commonly occurs), be prevented by every possible means from developing or at least be eradicated as soon as possible....

Whereas the child should be as little acquainted as possible with those inclinations unfavorable to his higher development, he should, on the other hand, be zealously and frequenntly introduced to all the rest or at least to their first buddings.

Therefore, let the educator instill in the child at an early age abundant and enduring inclinations of the better sort. Let him rouse him often and in divers ways to merriment, joyufulness, delight, hope, etc., but occasionally, although less frequently and more briefly, let him also encourage fear, sadness, and the like. He will have opportunity enough for this by virtue of the fact that, in the normal course of events, some of the child's manifold needs, not only of the body but also and primarily of the soul, are satisfied; that others are not; and that there are various combinations of both conditions. He must arrange everything so that it be nature's doing and not his own, or at least so that this appears to be the case. The unpleasant occurrences in particular must not betray their origin if he is the one responsible for them. [K. Weiller, Versuch eines Lehrgebäudes der Erziehungskunde (Toward a Theory of the Art of Education), 1805, quoted in Rutschky]

The person actually benefiting from this manipulation must not be detected. The child can be manipulated in another way: by frightening him in a manner that destroys or perverts his natural curiousity:

It is also well known how curious children are in this regard, especially when they are somewhat older, and what strange paths and means they often elect to acquaint themselves with the physical differences between the sexes. One can be sure that every discovery they make will feed their already heated imagination and thus endanger their innocence. For this reason alone, it would be advisable to anticipate this, and the instruction referred to earlier makes it necessary in any case. It would of course offend all modesty if one sex were permitted to disrobe freely in front of the other. And yet a boy should know how the female body is fashioned, and a girl should know how the male body is fashioned; otherwise, they will not receive correct impressions and their curiosity will know no bounds. Both sexes should learn about this in a solemn manner. Illustrations might give satisfaction in this matter, but do they present the matter clearly? Do they not inflame the imagination? Do they not awaken a wish for a comparison with nature? All these worries disappear if one makes use of a lifeless human body for this purpose. The sight of a corpse evokes solemnity and relection, and this is the most appropriate mood for a child under such circumstances. By a natural association of ideas, his memory of the scene will also produce a solemn frame of mind in the future. The image imprinted in his soul will not have the seductive attractiveness of images freely engendered by the imagination or of those elicited by less solemn objects. If all young people could receive their instruction about human reproduction from an anatomical lecture, matters would be much simpler. But since there is so little opportunity for this, every teacher can also impart the necessary instruction in the manner described above. There is often opportunity to see a corpse. [J. Oest (1787), quoted in Rutschky]

Viewing corpses is here considered a legitimate means of combating the sex drive, of preserving "innocence"; at the same time, however, the groundwork is thus being laid for the development of future perversions. Systematically induced disgust with one's own body also fulfills this function:

Instilling modesty is not nearly so effective as teaching children to regard disrobing and all that goes with it as improper and as offensive to others, just as offensive as it would be for example, to expect someone to carry out a chamber pot who is not paid to perform the task.

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